reduce age-related cognitive decline. Similarly, lack of social engagement in older adults is significantly linked to depression and dementia.
For most adults, it can be hard to make new friends and maintain social engagement. Easy ways for older adults to build social networks include volunteering at local charities such as food clinics.
Contact your local library for reading groups and free classes. Also, check if your town, county or city has a public senior services center. These drop-in senior recreation centers often offer activities and events for adults aged 50 and up. You can also contact your local YMCA for their senior events and offerings.
Get a good sleep quality
Rest your brain with consistent and quality sleep to keep it at optimal function. Poor sleep quality can reduce your reaction time and slow down cognitive thinking. It can also weaken working memory, making it difficult to remember short- and long-term information. According to the CDC, adults should get 7–9 hours of sleep a night.
If you have difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night, speak with a doctor. Avoid reliance on over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl. A report published in Jama Internal Medicine found evidence that linked long-term use of Benadryl to getting dementia.
Connect with nature and boost your brain by digging and planting. Multiple studies have linked gardening to maintaining healthy cognition in older adults. Twenty minutes of gardening was associated with increased memory and cognitive function in older adults, based on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that looked at blood samples.
Recognizing the signs of severe cognitive decline
Mild cognitive decline, such as difficulty remembering appointments, is expected with regular aging. But it can indicate more severe conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. If you experience symptoms that disrupt your life, it may be time to speak with a doctor. Warning signs include the following:
- Difficulty remembering appointments and events
- Over reliance on memory aids such as notes
- Confusion with time and place
- Forgetting conversations
- Difficulty making decisions or increased impulsivity
- Frequently getting lost and problems understanding navigational directions
- Struggling to read or follow instructions
- Difficulty with depth and space perception